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Colorado: Weather action stays east of the Divide

Western Colorado expecting coolish, quiet conditions on the weekend

Active weather developing in the Pacific could lead to some snow late next week.

Seasonal weather across the West Slope, with an early taste of winter east of the Divide.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Most of the weather action will be east of the Continental Divide the next few days, with a serious push of cold Arctic air dominating the Front Range and plains, but we’ll get a little taste of winter Saturday especially, when temperatures will be hard-pressed to climb above 40 degrees.

Friday saw temps along the Front Range much chiller than in western Colorado, where Delta, Cortez and Grand Junction all climbed into the mid-70s.

The forecast high of 38 degrees would be 16 degrees below the average high (for Frisco) of 54 degrees for this date, and forecast lows in the high teens are flirting with record levels. The coldest temperature on record for Oct. 6 is 19 degrees, set in 1986. The record high is 69 degrees, set in 1997.

But as of 9:30 p.m. Friday evening, a low-lying cloud deck was helping to keep temperatures relatively warm. Dipping down to that record territory will require some serious clearing before sunrise.

For the next few days, cool to cold air will stream down out of the north, bringing frosty readings to the area, warmer on Sunday (46 degrees) but still well below average. For now, the National Weather Service says snowfall is not likely west of the Divide, but it’s a different story, where up to 10 inches of snow could fall in a small area along the Front Range near the Wyoming border, with lesser amounts on the northeastern plains.

Temps will moderate starting Sunday afternoon, climbing back toward average, which is in the mid 50s. Nighttime reading will run toward seasonal norms, in the mid-20s.

If you’re waiting for snow, look west, where a low pressure system is lurking off the Southern California coast. Right now, the forecast models are split on when, and exactly where, this system will move across Colorado, but as it gradually moves inland, it will pump up some warming southwest winds before potentially bringing some precip to the area late next week.

That could start with showers over the southwestern mountains with moisture in the SW flow, and end up with more widespread precipitation in other parts of the state, depending on exactly where the low pressure system tracks, but that’s all still a long way off. In the meantime, dust off your beanie and gloves and enjoy the crisp fall weather.

 

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